Original Scientific Article
Changes in the lactoferrin concentration in the bovine colostrum during postpartum period
Biljana Trajkovska * ,
Ljupche Kochoski ,
Gordana Dimitrovska ,
Zehra Hajrulai-Musliu ,
Risto Uzunov ,
Vladimir Petkov ,
Prarabdh C. Badgujar

Mac Vet Rev 2022; 45 (2): 177 - 185


Received: 18 March 2022

Received in revised form: 23 May 2022

Accepted: 03 June 2022

Available Online First: 16 September 2022

Published on: 15 October 2022

Correspondence: Biljana Trajkovska, biljana.trajkovska@uklo.edu.mk


The health condition of the mammary gland is highly crucial for obtaining good quality colostrum. The lactoferrin (LF), as an iron-binding protein, plays a key role in the defense mechanisms of the mammary gland due to its’ bacteriostatic properties. The study aimed to investigate the factors affecting the LF concentration in the bovine colostrum milk during the postpartum period, and the effect of somatic cell count (SCC) on the LF concentration and milk composition. The cows were randomly selected at a dairy farm in Pelagonia region. Colostrum samples from 12 cows were collected. Samples were taken at different time intervals after parturition, 1, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h after parturition. Cows in their second parity were found to have higher levels of LF compared to cows in the third and higher parity (p>0.05). Time had a significant effect on the LF concentration (p<0.01), with the highest value recorded 1 h after parturition remaining stable for one hour. LF concentration and SCC in the colostrum showed a weak positive correlation (r=0.40; p<0.01). The highest LF concentration was noticed when SCC was above 800,000 cells/mL. In conclusion, the colostrum LF concentration was significantly affected by the interactions of the two factors, i.e., time after parturition and SCC (p<0.05). Milk composition was affected by elevated SCC. Parity showed no association with LF. The SCC can be used as a reliable means of assessing colostrum quality.

Keywords: lactoferrin, somatic cell counts, colostrum, postpartum, cow milk


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© 2022 Trajkovska B. This is an open-access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation Information

Macedonian Veterinary Review. Volume 45, Issue 2, Pages 177-185, e-ISSN 1857-7415, p-ISSN 1409-7621, DOI: 10.2478/macvetrev-2022-0026, 2022